Friday, 11 April 2014

Week Four – Monday 10 February – Sunday 16 February

Business meetings took up much of my time this week although I did represent the WCM at the Royal British Legion Reception at Glaziers’ Hall. I offered them assistance in planning their future Marketing department and approach if they required it – right down to sitting in on their recruitment meeting (if they wished).

Also represented the WCM at the CIM Marketing Awards Dinner at Grosvenor House – a delightful and very full evening where many Awards were presented to very obviously delighted recipients. Used the opportunity to talk to a number of senior Marketers about potentially becoming Marketors!

Had a very pleasant lunch meeting with a Member who wanted to talk about his vision for the WCM and how he could be involved. Very happy to do this when my diary allows!

The week ended with my wife, Jeanne, celebrating an important birthday. Enough said.

Weeks 3 - Managing the Marketing - Monday 3 February – Sunday 9 February

Monday required me to go to our office in Plaisterers’ Hall for a meeting with the Clerk, then a session at Fishmongers’ Hall together with representatives of the Berkhamsted School Foundation regarding a charity dinner that I had suggested to both parties. Brief explanation – I had found that there are three Masters this year from Berkhamsted School (Master Musician, Sir Anthony Cleaver; Master Information Technologist, Michael Webster; and me) and therefore proposed that we should jointly organise a “livery style dinner”.

I then had a meeting to do with my own business, followed by a briefing for Masters attending the Ironbridge weekend (in June) at Insurers’ Hall.

Tuesday I had a session with Court Assistant Richard Christou on the events programme for the year (Richard had agreed to run the programme as Chairman of Events and is clearly extremely well organised, for which I am extremely grateful – I suspect that you will see those words again!).

Then to a black tie dinner at Stationers’ Hall (shown above), which was my first formal Dinner representing the WCM – a very pleasant occasion enjoyed by all.

Wednesday saw my first “Master and Wardens” meeting with me in the chair – these are held monthly and the intention is to spend ever more time on the future and strategic items and far less on the minutiae of the past. We will do our best! One special agenda item was a presentation by our current investment manager on how our investments are progressing, something that we will be reviewing more frequently.

Friday saw me at a black tie dinner – but this time at Berkhamsted School!

Week 2 - Up to Speed - Monday 27 January – Sunday 2 February

My first external appearance representing the WCM – although to be fair it was the AGM of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and therefore I was there in my own right. But I did ensure that people were made aware of the Livery and hopefully some will seek to join us.

Wednesday saw me interviewing potential new Freemen as part of a panel, followed by a session with the Learned Clerk and the Assistant Clerk.

Thursday I was at the Gresham Lecture given by the Lord Mayor at the Museum of London and later on I was with her again at Mansion House for the reception celebrating last year’s Lord Mayor’s Show and getting an early idea of the themes for this year (Andrew Marsden as Senior Warden came with me so that he could meet this year’s Lord Mayor and also the “most likely” candidate to become the next Lord Mayor!).

Friday I visited Skinners’ Hall with the Learned Clerk – to discuss holding the Spring Lunch there. I then went on my first “representative lunch” (together with the Clerk) at Cutlers’ Hall where my kind hosts were the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.

I am beginning to realise just how many e-Mails are sent to the Master! Oh well.

Master Michael Harrison - 2014 Week One – Monday 20 January – Sunday 26 January

Preparations take far more time than you might think! Because a new gown had to be made (not just because I am very tall, the old one is looking rather tired) I had to collect it (this has been going on for some time). Then there are the rehearsals, the list of photographs to be approved, final seating plan agreed…..all very necessary.

The day before the Installation, I had a meeting on the website followed by an Armed Forces and Cadets Committee meeting – whilst the received advice was to relax on that day!

Thursday was a blur. One thing that struck me as funny was that at the Installation Court there was a slight pause – immediately after I had been “installed” and took my place at the lectern I read the words “the Master will now say…” and it took me just a moment to realise that this meant me!

Dinner was excellent – the food, wine and service all first class and our speaker, Terry Mansfield CBE (of Hearst Corporation fame) was equally so. In my response, I was able to emphasise my belief that the Master and Wardens must work as a team and that the entire Court is also a vitally important team. To emphasise that I was able to announce that (subject to the Court’s approval) the Master and Wardens had produced a four-year rolling plan to which we were all committed, rather than have four individual “stove-pipe” years.

And so the next year of the Worshipful Company begins – a good first day!